Controversial hiplife musician, Kwame Asare Obeng popularly known as A-Plus has said that Ghana is currently enjoying an atmosphere of freedom of speech than it did under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration.
The musician, known for his affection for the 2012 NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo was of the view that Ghana had gone past the days where musicians and individuals were constantly threatened and harassed because of their political views and comments.
A thriving democracy
A-Plus, who recently released another controversial song My Last Coup D’état, told Myjoyonline.com in an interview that the situation has seen much improvement under the NDC administration and the improvement is a test case for the country’s democracy.
Asked if he faced any intimidation after the release of My Last Coup D’état which touches on several issues – including the 2012 IEA debates, Ayariga coughs, the 2012 general elections, Akua Donkor and Dr Nduom’s Tundra saga – A-Plus said he is “surprised by the attention” the song has received.
According to him, “Ghana has gone past phone call days where people are threatening you. All the phone calls that I had were very encouraging, people love what I do. Even some of the people I was talking about call me and we laughed over it.”
The laudable situation, he added, is “a test case for our new president, for our democracy. It makes me understand where we are democratically. It makes me understand the mindset of Ghanaians at this point in time.”
“I can confidently say that it’s better than when Kufuor was in power… Kufuor’s was better than that of Rawlings so it keeps improving,” A-Plus stressed.
He said that, “After I worked for Nana Addo by extension the NPP, NDC won the election and they didn’t come chasing any of us,” adding that musicians who endorsed Nana Addo have won awards and have also seem much improvements in their careers.
The musician noted that if a musician endorses a political party right now and he or she does make a hit, then “you yourself don’t know how to make music. The politician won’t change your career in anyway.”
He alleged that in 2007, when he released A Letter to Parliament, he received several phone calls, even from the Office of the President, “where people wanted to take me to court,” and considering the improvements, “where we are today, …Ghana is better than what we had in 2007 in terms of democracy.”
Economic hardships not NDC’s fault
Commenting on the current challenges – power outages, water rationing, increase in fuel and the shortage of gas – bedeviling the country, A-Plus said the NDC cannot take all the blame for the situation.
“All those who have ruled this country must bow down their heads in shame. We won’t limit it to any particular government. It is something that is a disgrace to this country after 56 years [of independence] we don’t have anything and we have never had anything,” he lamented.
“We must work hard to make sure it does not happen again,” he urged.
The Kufuor government had its ups and down, same with John Mahama’s administration, he said but advised that the country should plan ahead to better the lot of Ghanaians.
Patronage of political songs
While many will say A-Plus is treading dangerously by doing political songs and the implications of not making commercial music sales, the artiste thinks otherwise.
“I have sold more CDs than most people who are making music today,” he said, adding, it is rather unfortunate that there is a dip in CD sales.
A-Plus, who has eleven political songs to his credit, released The Unexpected Wednesday. The song, he said, will tell Ghanaians why he released My Last Coup D’état.